Home > 11 tips for using pre-emergent herbicides: DPI

11 tips for using pre-emergent herbicides: DPI

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A pre-emergent herbicide is applied to the soil either before or directly after sowing and prior to weed emergence.

Whilst pre-emergent herbicides can be used in conservation farming systems, they must be used in conjunction with herbicide/crop rotation management 
plans and other non-chemical weed control techniques.

Despite this, pre-emergent herbicides present a number of advantages to Australia's agriculture industry. For example, many are very effective on hard-to-kill weeds like annual ryegrass and barley grass; the current level of herbicide resistance to pre-emergent herbicides in NSW is very low; and they also control weeds early in crop life, and potentially over multiple germinations.

Here are some top tips, provided by the Department of Primary Industries, on how to best use pre-emergent herbicides in conservation farming systems.

  1. Only use pre-emergent herbicides as part of an integrated weed control plan including both chemical and non chemical weed control practices.
  2. Preparation starts at harvest. Minimise compaction and maximise trash spreading from the header.
  3. Minimise soil disturbance allowing weed seeds to remain on the soil surface.
  4. Leave stubble standing rather than laying it over.
  5. Knife points and press wheels allow greatest crop safety. Avoid harrows. 
  6. If using a disc seeder understand the mechanics of your machine and the limitations it may carry compared to a knife point and press wheel.
  7. Pay attention to detail in your sowing operation and ensure soil throw on the inter row whilst maintaining a seed furrow free from herbicide.
  8. Ensure the seed furrow is closed to prevent herbicide washing onto the seed.
  9. Ensure even seed placement, typically 3–5 cm of loose soil on top of seed in cereals for best crop safety.
  10. IBS rather than PSPE for crop safety.
  11. Understand herbicide chemistry. Choose the right herbicide in the right paddock at the right rate.
Image: voices.yahoo.co

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